Taiwan president defiant after China calls for reunification

FILE PHOTO: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrives to cast her vote for the local elections in New Taipei City, Taiwan, November 24, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday the island would not accept a “one country, two systems” political arrangement with China, while stressing all cross-strait negotiations needed to be on a government-to-government basis.

Tsai spoke after Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech earlier on Wednesday that nobody can change the fact that Taiwan is part of China, and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek “reunification”.

Tsai also urged China to understand Taiwanese people’s thinking and needs.

In a new year’s speech earlier this week, Tsai said China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.

Reporting By Yimou Lee; Editing by James Pomfret & Kim Coghill